National Chili Day & Riesling

It’s the fourth Thursday in February and we all know what that means — National Chili Day, apparently! What better way to ward off the February blahs then embracing this southwestern tradition? According to the National Day site, American frontier settlers used a chili recipe of dried beef, suet, dried chili peppers and salt, which was pounded together and formed into bricks then dried. The bricks were then boiled in pots while on the trails. And interestingly just before World War II, hundreds of small, family-run chili parlours (also known as chili joints) popped up throughout Texas with each parlour claiming a secret recipe.

Well, we are happy to share our secret recipe. We make large batches usually for the Super Bowl and freeze the rest to enjoy throughout February. As we prefer a spicy version of this comfort food dish, it is ideal when paired with Township 7’s Riesling, which easily handles the heat of the peppers.

Three Bean & Turkey Chili Recipe

¼ cup olive oil or vegetable oil
1 – 8 oz can tomato sauce
1 – 6 oz can tomato paste
1 – 28 or 32 oz can crushed tomatoes
2 cups frozen corn kernels
1 lb fresh mushrooms, sliced
½ red pepper, orange pepper and yellow bell pepper each, diced
1 can each of red, white and black kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2 pounds of ground turkey
3 cloves of garlic, minced
3 cups of organic chicken stock
½ tsp chili powder
¼ tsp chili flakes
½ jalapeno seeded
2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 bottle of dark craft beer (we like Naramata Nut Brown Ale)
2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
1½ tsp ground cumin
¾ tsp oregano
1/8 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp paprika
1 tbsp Emeril Lagasse Southwest Essence (make a batch in advance and store in airtight jar)
2 tbsp maple syrup
¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
sour cream and aged cheddar cheese (for garnish)


In large saucepan heat 2 tbsp of oil, add the turkey, salt and pepper and cook until the turkey is cooked through, about 6 minutes. Add the beer and cocoa and simmer until the liquid is reduced by half.

Meanwhile, heat 2 tbsp of the oil in a separate very large pot or saucepan and when hot add the red, yellow and orange bell peppers and mushrooms, cook until the vegetables are soft and lightly caramelized.  Add the jalapeno and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 to 2 minutes. Ad chili powder, Southwest Essence, and remaining spices, and stir together well. Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, and chicken broth and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Add the beans, corn, and turkey mixture and cook until the flavours come together and the chili has thickened, about 30 minutes longer.   Add the maple syrup and cilantro, remove from the heat and let sit for 10 minutes before serving.  Scoop into large bowls, garnish with some cilantro, sour cream and shredded cheddar cheese.

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